The Japanese government and strong organic growth are facilitating the steady recovery of the ICT industry. Japan maintains its stronghold as the most advanced telecommunications market in the world. Its status as the global ICT R&D hub remains unchallenged even as manufacturing is outsourced to low cost countries. Currently, service upgrades are underway to complement the advanced ICT infrastructure in Japan.
New Country Industry Forecasts from the Frost & Sullivan Economic Research and Analytics team addressing the Japanese ICT Industry, reveals that opportunities in IP/broadband-based communications, networking, wireless communications, Internet applications, and satellite communications segments, exist in the Japanese ICT market.
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“Though Japan’s journey to become the second largest ICT market in the world has indeed been market driven, the government has supported this growth,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Farheen Pasha. “Currently, in the IT industry, the e-Japan policy has proved to be a most effective driver. The political support of the Japanese government creates an ideal environment for the ICT hubs that are developing in Japan.”
The Japanese ICT industry accounted for 8.6 percent of the GDP and 6.8 percent of all employment in Japan in 2005. General economic policies have been very favorable for the Japanese ICT industry. Notably, the prioritization of the IT and telecommunications industries by the Japanese government has spurred growth, while de-regularization has increased competition. Additionally, the government has increased its spending on science and technology. Tax and tariff reforms to aid ICT investments are expected to continue.
The Japanese government envisions the country as an ICT powerhouse by 2010 and has put in place various plans and policies for this purpose. It strongly supports ICT innovation by creating an environment conducive to ICT R&D. Popular government strategies roll out annual programs to increase the diffusion and use of ICT technologies. The government is also actively involved in improving the ICT infrastructure by aiding electronic transactions, carrying out price reforms for broadband penetration, and setting up a nationwide fiber-optic network. The future direction of ICT policies will likely entail mainstreaming them so that they may contribute significantly to the overall growth of the Japanese economy.
Though the Japanese economy and ICT industry are on a clear path to recovery, they are faced with challenges. The surviving companies of the dot-com crash have absorbed the overcapacity and overexpansion, and their stocks move upward. Although companies experienced different turnaround times after the dot-com crash, all ICT industry segments are now expected to flourish in the next 3 years. Impressive R&D and advanced technological capabilities have induced a large number of companies to invest in Japan, particularly due to the competitive edge of Japanese R&D in mobile computing. The ICT services segment has grown in its overall contribution to the industry (both telecom services and software) even as the contribution of the hardware segment has declined (computers and telecom equipment).
Increasing ICT R&D funding, foreign investments and industrial investments are some of the drivers for the ICT industry. Japan is the second largest ICT consuming market in the world and the largest in Asia. In fact, ICT consumption in Japan is far ahead of its western counterparts in terms of both the components and the prices at which they are offered. The diffusion rate of ICT products in Japanese households has been rapid. In terms of e-governance, Japan has one of the most advanced infrastructures in the world. Schools and airports also do exceptionally well in ICT diffusion. Despite having one of the highest Internet access rates, the rates of traditional e-commerce in Japan are low. Still, Japan is expected to retain its leadership position in wireless commerce over Europe and the United States.
The Japanese ICT infrastructure is extensive and sophisticated. The private sector has played a dominant role in the creation of this network infrastructure supported by the government’s efforts to promote free and fair competition and basic research.
Traditional voice over phone services are facing a major decline in Japan even as mobile telephony (particularly cellular) and Internet Protocol (IP) telephony are rapidly growing. CDMA 2000 is the more dominant third-generation mobile technology even though focus has now shifted to the development of the fourth-generation mobile technology. Currently, Japan has the fastest and cheapest broadband access in the world. Fiber to the home (FTTH) broadband infrastructure is also expected to grow rapidly in the next 3 years.
The 3 part series addressing the Japanese ICT Industry is part of the Frost and Sullivan ICT GPS subscription services. The Political and Policy Analysis of the Japanese ICT industry provides a detailed coverage of the political establishment, general economic and industry specific policies, and their impact on the industry. The Economic Analysis provides an overview of the market size, a discussion of drivers as well as restraints, and an analysis of market structure in the context of the overall Japanese economy. The Social, Infrastructure and Labor Analysis studies the labor market dynamics, infrastructure conditions and consumption profile of end-users. Analyst interviews and briefings are available to the press.
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